No matter how old you are, striving to maintain optimal health is vital. Indeed, no matter if one is at the beginning of life or towards the end, having good health ensures that you will be able to enjoy life to the fullest. However, many people do not know that poor health can also have a negative effect on the brain. That said, the following is an overview of how poor health can shrink your brain.
Does Lack of Sleep Shrink Your Brain?
Studies do suggest that a lack of sleep can shrink your brain. In particular, studies have shown that aging people tend to experience a more rapid deterioration of three areas of the brain who had a poor quality of sleep. Moreover, it is not necessarily a lack of sleep overall, but more so, a poor quality of sleep that is associated with the shrinking of the brain.
Does Stress Shrink your Brain?
Additionally, there are various effects of stress on the brain to beware of. The effects of stress on brain function are vast and typically negative. For instance, stress can change your brain structure, increase the risk of mental illness, it can also kill brain cells, it hurts your memory, and yes, there is even a correlation between stress and brain shrinkage. Moreover, it can trigger a series of events that can eventually cause your brain to totally malfunction for the long term.
What Happens When Your Brain Shrinks?
As mentioned, brain shrinkage can trigger a series of issues that can negatively affect you in the long term. For instance, it can cause the following issues and more:
- Memory Loss
- Unexplained Behavioral Changes
- Thinking and Functional Impairment
- Muscle Stiffness
- Trouble Walking and with Mobility
- Balance Issues
- Delayed Speech
- Learning Difficulties
Can your Brain Shut Down from Stress?
Well, this is a loaded question, but technically, yes it can. Although it does not happen in a way that is always immediate and apparent, over time, stress can absolutely shut down your brain. This is because it can literally make us sick and prevent us from thinking clearly. This is because stress causes things such as heart palpitations, which can send a message to the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which can temporarily cause your brain to shut down and malfunction.
Overall, there are plenty of negative effects that poor health can cause to your brain. Not only can it cause you to experience a wide array of symptoms and illnesses, but it can literally serve to shut your brain down in general. While this effect is temporary, if this happens on a regular basis and over time, it will serve to create an imbalance and overall malfunction of your brain for the long term. Either way, things such as sleeping well, reducing stress, and maintaining healthy habits is the best way to keep your health from adversely affecting your brain. If you are a person who is under excessive stress, you may need to reach out to a professional before your health causes shrinkage of your brain.